Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A little closer to breaking 80...

11/4/12 Wednesday. The reshafting has been a success. After a try out on the range hitting into the wind, alternating between the 380 cc and 400cc drivers the distances are now consistently the same. The stiff flex shaft replacing the ultra flex in the 400cc driver has improved it’s performance in my hands. The two clubs have very different ball flights with the 380cc an 8.5 degree loft and the 400cc at 10 degree loft. The two 'feel' very different on striking the ball as well but that is no matter it did not cause any confusion for me when using them. Which is something that I am a little proud of, with a swing that is not affected with using unfamiliar equipment.

After the range session I went out yesterday and played 9 holes hitting two balls off the tee using both drivers. The results were excellent, again accurate with both and the 400cc nosing out the smaller driver for distance off the tee. The different ball flights are a facet that is going to be interesting to explore in practice over coming months. The 8.5 loft is a lower flight as would be expected and a very satisfying straight reaching drive with the addition of run. The run will not be as influential with the heavier ground conditions in winter. This has been the main reason for those 250m drives that have been a noted influence on my game. These unusual long drives have been part of the inspiration behind the current shaft replacement.

Reading recently that the standard shafts in drivers are not the best available off the shop floor has further peaked my interest in the practical experiment of changing shafts. Initially the 400cc dfriver was purchased as a back up for when a chronic back injury restricts my swing. The reason being that the extra flex shaft would compensate for the impaired swing. Since the coaching changes to my swing in January the injury no longer has a major influence on my golf. A Taylor Made 370cc driver stiff shaft was available so in it went. No cost to me and the result has shown that it was worth the effort. I have now reshafted the 420cc Infinity Driver 10.5 degree loft. This time I have shortened the shaft (regular flex) by about 7cm which has significantly reduced the flexiblity, it is about 3cm shorter than the 380cc driver shaft now. Whilst this is not a technically precise change it will be very noticable when having a hit tomorrow.

The 400cc driver at 10 degrees has a expected rising flight to an apex then falling, with a negligible run effect. When having the trial on the range it was initially a relaxed session and I enjoyed just letting loose and exploring the drivers limits. In the final two 10 ball sessions it was all about the accuracy of the shots. Once on the course the tee shots where all comfortable easy swings and the distances were at the 210-220m accuracy was a little poorer than usual though and 5 bogies and four pars for nine holes all included GIR on the par holes. The bogie holes all included poor second shots with three limited to just returning to the fairway from the rough. Short game though was very good hitting the greens easily from 50-100m.

The reshafted Drivers will not be going into the bag for competition play at the minute. I am doing this with a specific purpose that is all about getting an additional 10-15m off the tee. Not straight away, this is an equipment exercise. The rest of this season I am continuing the swing development to a better level of consistency. That alone has increased distance for all shots. To begin breaking 80 regularly it is apparent to me that getting 230-250m drives as a standard feature off the tee is needed. Back in 2010 when I had the Cobra S9.1 Driver the 250m drive was possible, it was just not possible for me to be able to regularly produce the shot with any reliability. Most of problem was caused by the ‘frog in a blender’ swing I had then. It has taken two years of practise and coaching to now be able to begin the final stages of adding a driver shot to my game that is the correct combination of the golfer and equipment.

When having coaching sessions it is not just the practical that has my attention, it is what the professional says. To take a cliche’ I will call it “cause and effect”, each stance, swing, club drill has a purpose that is IE about cutting 3-4 strokes off a rounds score. Accurate drives off the tee on to fairways will save those short shots from the rough or behind trees just to get on the fairway. More GIR’s mean more par in regulation holes and birdie opportunities. Better chipping within 1m of the hole means more par holes and birdie chances same with better putting. Having reached 13-14 handicap the next few seasons I am pulling all the stops out to see how low I can get and play winning tournament golf. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em straight all.”


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